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28 November, 2007 / theexpositor

Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinists

from Between Two Worlds

The conference “Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism,” sponsored by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Founders Ministries, is taking place Nov. 26-28 at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center. Each session has two speakers who are presenting different perspectives on their respective topics.

Starting this afternoon, podcasts of the conference will be made available at this Lifeway page.

For more info, check out the blogs of Tom Ascol and Ed Stetzer.

Also of interest: Timmy Brister’s Chronological Survey of the Calvinism/Arminanism Controversy in the SBC. {link updated}



  1. Douglas / Nov 28 2007 20 21

    Calvinism Conference Presentations

    Post 11:

    Here is an opening comment that I shared a few minutes ago. You can listen here or download the file here. Not everyone will appreciate what I said, but I felt it needed to be said after some other comments… particularly at a conference called “Building Bridges.”

    Quote from the download file: “As such, let me say that I thank God for many biblically faithful Purpose Driven churches, biblically faithful emerging churches, and yes, biblically faithful traditional churches. I hope you will join me in that.

    Tell me, how can Purpose Driven churches be biblically faithful when the whole Purpose Driven Life movement is based upon so many twisted, distorted scriptures, among other errors? How are we supposed to build bridges with those who proclaim so much falsehood? If that is what Mr. Stetzer is saying about Purpose Driven churches then I despair of all hope that genuine, safe bridges will be built. I do not trust Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven Movement one iota. He does not proclaim the biblical faithful gospel in all its glory. Rick Warren has removed the offensive parts of the gospel, he has waterd down the gospel and is basically getting away with it??? I believe the whole Purpose Driven movement is built upon the sands of deception even though there is some truth contained within. If there was no truth in Purpose Driven it would hardly be embraced at all. People are being saved in spite of the Purpose Driven Movement not because of it.

    R. C. Sproul says in his book “Willing to Believe,”


    “Robert Godfrey, president of Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, California, recently suggested that I write a book about “the myth of influence.” I was startled by the suggestion because I did not know what the meant. He explained that this phrase refers to the modern evangelical penchant to “build bridges” to secular thought or to groups within the larger church that espouse defective theologies.

    The mythical element is the naive assumption that one can build bridges that move in one direction only. Bridges are usually built to allow traffic to move in two directions. What often happens when we relate to others is that we become the influencees rather than the influencers. In an effort to win people to Christ and be “winsome,” we may easily slip into the trap of emptying the gospel of its content, accommodating our hearers, and removing the offense inherent in the gospel. To be sure, our own insensitive behavior (something I am very well aware of in my own life) can add an offense to the gospel that is not properly part of it. We should labor hard to avoid such behavior. But to strip the gospel of those elements that unbelievers find repugnant is not an option (something Rick Warren does, often, he strips the gospel of the “hard sayings”).

    Martin Luther once remarked that wherever the gospel is preached in its purity, it engenders conflict (ask Steve Camp about that sort of thing happening when he was preaching and several homosexuals beat him up) and controversy. We live in an age that abhors controversy, and we are prone to avoid conflict. How dissimilar this atmosphere is from that which marked the labor of Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles. The prophets were immersed in conflict and controversy precisely because they would not accommodate the Word of God to the demands of a nation caught up in syncretism. The apostles were engaged in conflict continuously. As much as Paul sought to live peaceably with all men, he found rare moments of peace and little respite from controversy.

    That we enjoy relative safety from violent attacks against us may indicate a maturing of modern civilization with respect to religious toleration (not for Christians in the Middle East, Indonesia, Sudan, Darfur, China, North Korea and other such like countries where they are being raped, tortured and murdered on a daily basis). Or it may indicate that we have so compromised the gospel (that has happened) that we no longer provoke the conflict that true faith engenders.
    pages 19-20
    Emphasis mine.

  2. Idetrorce / Dec 16 2007 1 06

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

    • terriergal / Mar 14 2011 11 50

      well there’s a non-answer.

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